Return to Writing
I’m back to working on my novel. I thought I was done editing it, I really did. I read the whole thing aloud and changed words around, added sentences, deleted and rewrote paragraphs. But the ending was unsatisfying to me. It felt like a short story ending. I also felt like it was the end of that particular story, so I let it go.
Since then I have sent the story out to a few agents. I got a couple of form rejections and one really great letter that humbled and instructed me. The agent said that my novel didn’t “grab” her. Since I was able to send her actual pages of the book instead of just a letter with a short blurb about the book, this hit home for me. I re-looked at the beginning, which I had done some last minute editing on before I sent it to her. I had also submitted this beginning to an agent contest earlier last year-which I did not win. So, even though only a couple of people rejected the story, those people are two professionals that I would really like to work with.
So here I am, back to pounding away at the story with a hammer and chisel. I feel like I have the beginning set up better. I think it’s one that will grab and entice readers. While doing this complete re-write of the beginning of my novel, I realized I needed to edit the whole book.
I’m going to have to up the story tension and… this is what really freaks me out… I’m going to have to change the ending.
This all means I’ll need to do another read-through when I’m done with the story edits. This is what I hate, hate, hate about editing. I wish I could just barf my story onto a page and have it be all bright, shiny and perfect. I wish someone would just swoop it up and publish it. I wish I was a child prodigy with billionaire parents too… so… yeah.
One great thing that has come out of all of this is that I’ve never had the patience to go through and keep editing in spite of set backs. I have two other novels that went nowhere in the editing process. So, maybe I’m learning some great lessons here. Maybe it’s only taken me ten years or so to learn how to finish a writing project.
Speaking of endings, I’m not sure how to end this post. So, here’s Jack Kerouac:
“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”